Last month, we discussed all you needed to know about setting up an Islamic Will (Wasiyah) and if you missed it, you can check it out HERE.
Today, we are talking about Philanthropy in Islam.
Do you know that giving charity in Islam is as simple as smiling at one’s brother or even feeding one’s wife or putting away something harmful to one’s brother.
While you might be familiar with the conventional philanthropic methods of establishing a Foundation, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), etc., Philanthropy in Islam is much more different as Allah (SWT) has made being philanthropic very easy for Muslims. Muslims can earn rewards for simply doing little things that are part of one’s daily life or routine.
Philanthropy loosely means ‘Charity’ or ‘Giving Back’.It signifies acts done for the welfare of mankind. Islamic philanthropy refers to acts of giving by Muslims, Islamic religious faithful, in accordance with Islamic ordinances for public benefits or purposes.
What are the benefits of Philanthropy in Islam?
According to the Qur’an and hadith, philanthropy is necessary for the purification of one’s wealth and heart, as a sign of piety and evidence of faith, and as a right of the poor and destitute. Islamic philanthropy can serve as a model for actualizing social justice.
The Islamic world is truly fortunate to have its own long-standing indigenous tradition of philanthropy institutions which became the pillar of Islamic social justice. As such, through charities, some of the worst effects of poverty have been reduced.
In addition, Islamic philanthropy also acts as a mechanism for economic development. The funds raised from Islamic philanthropy models can be used to finance various projects that can directly or indirectly contribute to economic wellbeing.
From this, it is clear that philanthropy in Islam is seen as a religious obligation, religious morality, and a means towards achieving social justice.
What are the different Models of Islamic Philanthropy?
In Islam, there are different philanthropy models. Some are obligatory and compulsory for all Muslims to perform and failure to do so comes with punitive consequences, while others are voluntary but highly recommended for Muslims to perform because it comes with a lot of rewards.
An obligatory Model is the Zakat. Zakat is the share or portion of wealth that is obligatory upon a Muslim to give to fixed categories of beneficiaries if the value of his assets is more than a specified limit. It is the charity that every Muslim, having a certain amount of wealth, pays at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is also mandatory on every Muslim not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of all the persons he oversees.
The voluntary model can be described as Sadaqah (Generous Giving), Waqf (Islamic Charitable Trust), Infaq (Spending for the betterment of society), Takaful (Islamic Insurance), and Wasiyah (Islamic Will).
Islamic philanthropy is definitely one of the important social instruments needed by society and human civilization as a whole in order to build a better place for our future generations. Therefore, we need to encourage participation and strengthen Islamic philanthropy as an effort to ensure the sustainability of life that can be enjoyed by all.
In subsequent editions, we would be looking at each of these philanthropic models in detail, the Islamic view on their performance, how they can be done, and how Fiduciary Services Limited Limited can help you achieve all your philanthropic goals in line with those that are Shariah-compliant.
In the meantime, you can view our video on the subject below and kindly engage with our Islamic Estate planning advisors via email